Know Your Flood Hazard
Your property may be located in an area prone to flooding. Natural disasters such as flood, fire, earthquake, tornado and windstorm affect thousands of people every year. You should know what your risks are and prepare to protect yourself, your family and community. One of the first steps to do this is to determine whether your property is located in a special flood hazard area. The maps located at the bottom of this page can help you accomplish this.
Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas, near water, behind a levee or downstream from a dam. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has recently updated the coastal Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for the Town of North Kingstown. Copies of these maps are available below or at the Planning Department, 55 Brown Street, North Kingstown. You can also access this information through a portal on the RI Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) website.
The North Kingstown Planning Department as well as the Building Official’s office provides either paper or digital copies of these maps for the public’s review. The public can either review the FIRM on a large computer screen linked to the FIRM database or they can review the hard copies. Both options are user friendly and staff in either department are well versed at the process and assisting the public with finding properties on the maps. The index for the town is referred to and the appropriate map is found in paper or digital copy. The previous FIRMs are also available using the same process. In addition, staff can assist the public over the phone with similar inquiries and email portions of the firm as a PDF as necessary.
Using the Maps
You can access the panel Number, flood zone, FIRM date, base flood elevation, Coastal A or CBRS, or depth of BFE Staff can also access past flood or repetitive flood area information for the property. In addition, there are sensitive or wetland area maps available for review for each lot. Most of this information is obtained from the FIRM maps, however other sources of information are used as well. Elevation certificates are filed by year (both electronically or in paper files) and can be reviewed for each inquiry, the town’s internet mapping server or GIS program can be accessed for wetland information.
RIEMA Floodplain Mapping Tool
The Rhode Island Floodplain Mapping Tool is an online mapping resource. The Tool provides users with flood risk information relative to residences, businesses, or other structures statewide.
While the tool is not intended for legal, engineering, or surveying purposes, it does provide users with an approximate flood zone determination relative to the flood hazard areas delineated on FEMA’s FIRMs. Multiple links are embedded in the program to guide users towards relevant information pertaining to the National Flood Insurance Program.
Community Rating System
We have also recently prepared our annual submission as part of our participation in the Community Rating System program. A copy of the packet submitted for our annual re-certification in 2018 can be obtained here: 2018 CRS packet.
If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact the Planning Department at 410-268-1571. You can also access the Flood Smart website for additional guidance on understanding the flood maps. These maps are effective as of October 2013.
Flood Insurance Study
This countywide Flood Insurance Study (FIS) investigates the existence and severity of flood hazards in, or revises and updates previous FISs/Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for the geographic area of Washington County, Rhode Island, including the Towns of Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, New Shoreham, North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown, Westerly, and lands designated for the Narragansett Indian Tribe (hereinafter referred to collectively as Washington County).
This FIS aids in the administration of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 and the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973. This FIS has developed flood risk data for various areas of the county that will be used to establish actuarial flood insurance rates. This information will also be used by Washington County to update existing floodplain regulations as part of the Regular Phase of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and will also be used by local and regional planners to further promote sound land use and floodplain development. Minimum floodplain management requirements for participation in the NFIP are set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations at 44 CFR, 60.3.
In some States or communities, floodplain management criteria or regulations may exist that are more restrictive or comprehensive than the minimum Federal requirements. In such cases, the more restrictive criteria take precedence and the State (or other jurisdictional agency) will be able to explain them.